One-third of Twin Cities homeowners still ‘effectively’ underwater on mortgages

MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

One-third? Jim Buchta of the Strib says, “By nearly every indication, the housing market in the Twin Cities now is humming along and, in some parts of the metro area, prices are breaking records. But one-third of all Twin Cities-area homeowners are effectively underwater on their mortgage, meaning they have enough equity to cover their mortgage, but not enough to sell their house and move to a different one. That’s why so many would-be sellers are staying put.”

Is this another one of those fiscally conservative, personal accountability guys? Dan Browning of the Strib reports, “Jonathan Aanestad is a longtime Minnesota political consultant with a past he’d like to put behind him.  Aanestad wants to wipe away nearly $1.3 million in debt, a sizable portion of which is owed to lawyers who have represented him over the years on civil matters stemming from a neighborhood feud. … John Stoebner, a Minneapolis attorney appointed as an impartial administrator to oversee the bankruptcy petition, said he has received tips that Aanestad might be hiding assets. ‘There are allegations that he ran a lot of money through one or more of his business entities, so we’re asking for bank accounts, or bank statements, and canceled checks for various entities’, Stoebner said. Stoebner said he discovered an Audi A6 registered to Aanestad that he had not declared.” 

He made it to Illinois. KARE-TV reports, “A Level 3 sex offender who fled Minnesota is behind bars again after being captured in Illinois Thursday. The Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) says Rico Ronondo Rodriguez was located at an apartment building in Belleville, Illinois and arrested without incident. A national warrant for Rodriguez’s arrest was issued October 26 after he cut off a GPS device and fled a halfway house in Minneapolis … .”

Make sure the tikes are sleeping safe. KMSP-TV’s story says, “A Minnesota Department of Health analysis of sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs) in 2014 found that of the 56 babies who died, 52 were in an unsafe sleep environment, the department confirmed Thursday. … According to the analysis, about half were sharing a sleep surface, such as a bed or sofa or recliner with another person. The other half was in an unsafe sleep position like being placed on their side or tummy, loose objects around them such as pillows or blankets, or was not sleeping on a firm surface.”

No clear path for teacher licensing. In the PiPress, Christopher Magan says, “Minnesota lawmakers received conflicting reports Thursday on the progress the state Board of Teaching has made in its efforts to streamline the way teachers are licensed. … Rhyddid Watkins and Nathan Sellers, lawyers for a group of teachers who sued the teaching board in April over the state’s licensing process, said the board has not heeded lawmakers’ repeated calls to improve the system.”

Who doesn’t want a “wow” roof? Jaime Delage of the PiPress says, “The Minnesota Wild are looking for a little help to make their proposed downtown St. Paul practice rink a reality: more ice skaters. Team officials attended an evening cocktail hour Tuesday at the Public Kitchen and Bar in Lowertown where they provided an informal overview of their plans to move practices to a rooftop rink on the vacant Macy’s department store building. They said that if the St. Paul Port Authority’s partnership with the Excelsior-based Oppidan development firm moves forward as planned, they could be practicing in a glass-walled rink atop the Macy’s building by the 2017 season, but more likely in 2018.”

Venison for breakfast. Says Greta Stark of the Forum News Service, “A River Falls bar had an unexpected early morning visitor Tuesday. A whitetail deer jumped through a windows at Junior’s Bar and Restaurant, shattering it and scattering glass across the room. ‘It decided to join us for dinner,’ joked Junior’s Restaurant co-owner Cory Hart. More like breakfast. River Falls police officer Beth Posel said the buck jumped through the window at about 7:25 a.m.” But did it pass a breathalyzer test?

There was a time when Rand was one of those “out there” characters. In the PiPress Rachel Stassen-Berger writes, “Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul will drop by two Minnesota college campuses and an Eagles Club on Monday, according to invitations released by his campaign on Facebook and elsewhere. Paul, a U.S. senator from Kentucky, will visit the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus in the morning, its Duluth campus in the afternoon and the Rochester Eagles Club in the late afternoon. He will also have a fundraiser in Orono in the evening. Paul, who is toward the back of the pack of Republican presidential polling, has raised about $42,000 so far from Minnesotans, according to Federal Election Commission data.” Apparently Sheldon Adelson isn’t taking his calls.

Also, Mother Strib still likes Ranked Choice Voting. “Duluth voters seem to have been sold by two arguments against RCV that we find questionable. One was that RCV is too complicated. If that were so, Minneapolis voters would have clamored to drop RCV after the 2013 election, which used that method and featured a messy 35-candidate mayoral race. Instead, an exit poll conducted by FairVote Minnesota, an RCV advocacy group, found five out of six respondents reporting that the ranking method of voting was either very or somewhat easy to use.”

You can’t fill up your boat and snow machine with stars, pal. Emily Guerin at Prairie Public Broadcasting says, “It’s getting harder to see the stars in North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and it’s due to flares, drilling rigs and all the lights from the Bakken oilfield. Since 2010, scientists with the National Park Service have measured a 500 percent increase in the amount of anthropogenic light there — no other national park in America has seen such a rapid increase in light pollution.” The night time satellite shots look like LA has moved to North Dakota.

Friday’s a big day for that Highway 53 bridge project up in Virginia. John Myers of the Forum News Service says, “State and local officials are set to gather Friday on the Iron Range for a ceremonial groundbreaking for the $230 million project to relocate U.S. 53 in Virginia. They’re expected to herald the new highway at the curling club in Eveleth to mark the start of construction that engineers say will take two years. The highway must be moved because Cliffs Natural Resources wants to expand its United Taconite Thunderbird mine onto land where the current highway now sits.”

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Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 11/06/2015 - 07:29 am.

    Random thoughts

    Re: One third? I’m among them. Moved here in ’09, bought a house in Minneapolis that immediately lost 25% of its value as the market hit bottom. At least officially (i.e., latest notice from Hennepin County’s assessor), I still owe more than the place is worth for tax purposes.

    Re: He Made It To Illinois. I’m disappointed. Belleville, IL is no one’s idea of an idyllic community, next door to somewhat infamous East St. Louis. If you’re going to go to the trouble of cutting off the GPS device and leaving the state, why not some place warm? Or scenic?

    Re: No Clear Path For Teacher Licensing. In the years I’ve been here, the State Board of Teaching has yet to justify its existence, or the salaries of the people purportedly serving on it.

    Re: You Can’t Fill Up Your Boat, &c. I recently visited Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It’s quintessential cowboy country, with some great hikes. That said, oil and gas wells are visible (without using binoculars) from inside the park’s northern unit. Sad on multiple levels, including the fact that I burned plenty o’ gasoline to get there and back from Minneapolis.

  2. Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 11/06/2015 - 08:08 am.


    My wife and I camped at Theodore Roosevelt National Park before the boom. The night sky was like nothing I had ever seen before. How sad people can’t experience what we did.

  3. Submitted by Bill Willy on 11/06/2015 - 09:10 am.

    No doubt about it

    Jonathan Aanestad was a Message-Crafter who did some (Key) work for Tony Sutton’s GOP Debt Machine. As many will recall, Mr. Sutton served as GOP party chair from 2009 until, in 2011, it became clear he had been overseeing a political spending spree, in which “contracts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars were awarded to consultants, lawmakers, candidates and party insiders,” that left the party in a $2+ million hole (it has yet to climb out of, four years later).

    Obviously, Mr. Aanestad believes deeply in fiscal and personal responsibility. So much so that he was professionally and personally responsible for seeing to it those things were embedded in the heart of the expensive, but finely-tuned, Core GOP Campaign Message in a way that was simple and straightforward enough that all Republican candidates could remember and communicate it relentlessly to Minnesota voters:

    “Sutton said firm founder Pat Strother [Strother Communications] and party activist Jonathan Aanestad helped Republican candidates focus on four key messages: fiscal responsibility, personal responsibility, free enterprise and limited government.”

    Some may say Tony Sutton got a little carried away with his spending on behalf of the MN GOP, but it’s obvious that wasn’t the case with the $221,000 they paid for Pat Strother’s and Jonathan Aanestad’s stroke of Original and Creative Message-Crafting Genius because Republicans (here in Minnesota, and across the nation) are still using it today. Some would call that Priceless! Only class war mongers and the envious would say it wasn’t worth an Audi A6 or two, at least!

  4. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 11/06/2015 - 09:46 am.

    Under water?

    It used to be that you were “under water” if you owed more than the house is worth. According to this article, now you’re under water if you have less than 20% equity. Bogus. Not everyone is selling to move and then buy another house elsewhere, which is what the 20% is supposed to cover.

    • Submitted by Bill Willy on 11/06/2015 - 11:01 am.

      20% + equity schmequity

      It’s true that not everyone is selling to move: Just the multitude of individuals and businesses fleeing our high-tax state for places where people get it, like Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Kansas, and the growing number of idyllic havens of the South, especially those along the Gulf Coast.

      And I think you’re right about the +20% being related to actually having to have a down payment these days, as opposed to the way it was back in the roaring 2000s when all anyone needed to join Flippers Anonymous was a pulse.

      • Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 11/06/2015 - 01:26 pm.

        That explains the crowded freeway’s in the morning; they’re all leaving the state. But why crowded in the afternoon? Did they forget something and have to come back?

        Look at the job numbers for other midwestern states, they don’t support your “multitudes” comment. ND actually lost jobs as the oil boom went bust.

    • Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 11/06/2015 - 01:33 pm.

      The 20% does have some validity as the inability to relocate exasperated the impact of the “great recession”.

  5. Submitted by beryl john-knudson on 11/06/2015 - 01:24 pm.

    A wee quote from someone ‘earlier”…

    “So it has come to pass” a borrowed quote from J.C’s father, could be?
    Anyway Dakota North as I call it is a state known for its sunsets of such magnificent greatness….but now too often, blotted by greed and exploitation compliments of oil barons and possibly a gang of political mafia types called government?. Way to go, whomever has sold out that most precious, rare plains view for the sake the present fracking hell…so it goes?

    Once saw in T Roosevelt vast park domain a coyote and a badger slowly moving through a prairie dog village…Coyote walking just a bit ahead but waiting for badger who was taking his sweet time sniffing in the prairie dog holes.

    Two good buddies out for a hike; one patient and waiting for the other…rare sight indeed but no camera; a pity, yes.

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